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University of Maryland Schools of Dentistry and Medicine receive NIH grant
Date:7/29/2014

ystems biology (or 'multi-omics') approach will be utilized to conduct STD research with the ultimate goal of developing knowledge to prognose, diagnose, prevent and treat sexually transmitted infection and disease," said Jacques Ravel, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Director for Genomics at the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the UM SOM, who is the co-principal investigator on the study. "By looking at how human genetics and the microbiome affect and influence infections in humans, we can gain a much better understanding of how to protect against these types of infection, which is critical for improving public health."

"We believe that this project will generate new essential knowledge into the mechanisms of sexually transmitted infection and disease as they occur, both in the human host and within the microbes that cause chlamydia and gonorrhea," says co-principal investigator Patrik Bavoil, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at the UM SOD."We will be identifying human and microbial biomarkers that will tell us who is most susceptible to infection, who is most susceptible to severe disease, even in the absence of symptoms," adds Dr. Bavoil, who is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UM SOM."These biomarkers could also provide us with new targets for new ways to prevent and treat STIs and STDs long before these microbes have a chance to endanger a woman's reproductive health."

The new grant establishes one of five nationwide Cooperative Research Centers on Sexually Transmitted Infection (CRC-STI), which will be jointly led by the UM SOM and UM SOD, to implement three projects:

Project 1 will explore the role of human genetic variance in dictating the outcome of the 'dialogue' between the pathogen, the microbiota and the host in both experimental infections and patient samples. The underlying hypothesis of this project is that host genet
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Contact: Christopher Hardwick
chardwick@som.umaryland.edu
410-706-5260
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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